Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Friday, October 3, 2014

Autumn is Fried Green Tomato Season

As the autumn rains and cold weather creep in I am aware of the mortality of my tomato plants. Some years I am still harvesting tomatoes into October. This week's forecast was for the return of rain, lots of heavy rain. I did a large harvest of my tomato plants. I culled all of the green tomatoes of the plants, so they could really sink their energy into ripening the remaining colorful fruits.

I love to have fun with fried green tomato recipes every autumn. This week I cooked them for 2 different dinners. The first was a fried green tomato salad with balsamic drizzle, feta and fresh basil leaves. The second was gluten-free spaghetti in heirloom tomato sauce with chèvre and topped with fried green tomatoes. Both delicious.

My biggest tip for fried green tomatoes is to use green, as in unripe hard tomatoes, not green, as in green-colored variety like green zebras. A ripe tomato will break down during the frying process. You want crunchy hard unripe green tomatoes for frying.

I cut big slices, dip them first in egg, then into a flour-cornmeal mix, then fry in canola oil until browned on each side. I've had very good success with gluten-free all purpose baking mix/flour. Use one that does not have almond meal. It gives the batter a weird flavor. Use 2 parts baking mix/flour to 1 part cornmeal.

The salad was super easy. It doesn't even need dressing!
--Fry up a batch of fried green tomatoes
--Bed of salad greens, your choice
--Top with fried green tomatoes
--Top with feta cheese & slivers of garden fresh basil
--Squirt with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

I'll tell you the secret to my quick, easy and delicious improvisational pasta sauce:
--Chop garden fresh, super ripe, heirloom tomatoes
--Sauté 1 chopped clove of garlic in olive oil
--Add chop tomatoes and 1 vegan broth cube
--Simmer for about 5 minutes
--Add to warm pasta
--Add parmesan cheese and your choice of soft cheese-chevre, feta, ricotta, etc.
--Add slivers of garden fresh basil

Enjoy Autumn's Bounty! Jolie

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